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Coalition says Ontario LTCs chronically understaffed

Posted: July 23, 2020

(July 22, 2020)


Coaltion LTC survey

The Ontario Health Coalition has released a survey of staff at long-term care facilities in Ontario and it found that 93 per cent of respondents said the sites are chronically understaffed. Some respondents said the staffing has been worse since the pandemic began in March.

DURHAM — A health coalition survey found that 95 per cent of workers in long-term care facilities claim sites are understaffed.

The Ontario Health Coalition polled more than 150 long-term care staff about staffing and care levels in Ontario’s long-term care homes and found the vast majority are short staffed.

Among the comments from staff were “heartbreaking”, “wrong” and “a far cry from what they deserve.”

The coalition is also warning that Ontario’s long-term care homes are not ready for a second wave of COVID-19.

The survey also found 53 per cent of staff report shortages of staff every day, while 63 per cent of the staff report staffing levels are worse than before COVID-19 hit and 28 per cent said staffing levels are the same.

The shortage of staff means residents in long-term care facilities are forced to go without such amenities as regular baths or showers because there are too few staff to use lifts safely and because of rushing. Also, staff deal with residents experiencing loneliness or depression because they don’t have time.

There’s also little or no time for Activities of Daily Living, such as brushing teeth, shaving and nail care.

The coalition claims staff have been denied vacation, stat holidays and weekends under emergency orders since the beginning of the pandemic. Staff have left due to fear, injuries, lack of childcare and the requirement to choose one home in which to work.

More than 50 of the respondents said there isn’t enough time for feeding and hydrating residents properly.

The survey was conducted between July 10 and 17 in every region of Ontario.

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